×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Megyn Kelly Says Ronan Farrow Had Rose McGowan on the Record, Contradicting Andy Lack’s Memo

UPDATED: Three new statements from NBC News have been added to this story, regarding Rose McGowan, Emily Nestor and Ronan Farrow’s claim that his story was “cleared and deemed ‘reportable’ by legal and standards.”

On Tuesday’s edition of “Megyn Kelly Today,” host Megyn Kelly reported that Rose McGowan gave an on-the-record admission to Ronan Farrow at NBC News that Harvey Weinstein raped her, and NBC News sat on the scoop for months.

Returning to air after the long Labor Day weekend — which was anything but a quiet holiday weekend for NBC News, after multiple reports broke regarding the news organization’s handling of Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein reporting — Kelly told her viewers that McGowan and former producer Rich McHugh both claimed to her that McGowan went on the record and NBC News chose not to run the story.

“Late last night, Rose McGowan and Rich McHugh, the former NBC producer, both challenged that assertion, telling ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ that McGowan did go on the record with NBC in February 2017, after that on-camera interview with Farrow, and that she did name Harvey Weinstein as her rapist,” Kelly said on-air.

“There’s a lot to unpack,” Kelly continued during her broadcast. “What were seeing here is it McHugh… has now gone public with his accusations that NBC, he claims, blocked the story — NBC vehemently denying that, and saying they didn’t have anybody, they didn’t have anybody on the record…And Rose McGowan telling us that she was on the record for months and they didn’t use her statement. NBC saying if that’s true, it wasn’t communicated up the line. That’s a dispute between NBC and the reporters on the story, but this is getting really in the weeds and it’s getting really uncomfortable.”

Kelly’s broadcast comes as many journalists have had to cover their own news organizations throughout the Me Too movement, from Savannah Guthrie announcing that Matt Lauer had been fired on the “Today” show, to Gayle King announcing Charlie Rose’s misconduct on-air on “CBS This Morning.”

McGowan’s on-the-record admission occurred off-camera in February 2017. Then, in the summer of 2017, McGowan’s lawyers sent NBC a cease and desist letter revoking permission to use her original interview — indicating that NBC News had McGowan naming Weinstein as her attacker on the record, though off-camera, for five months.

Media outlets had previously reported that McGowan had spoken to NBC’s Farrow about Weinstein raping her and then retracted her interview after his lawyers started threatening her. But the length of time that NBC had a McGowan interview on the record, without running it, had been unclear.

“Regarding Rose McGowan, as the interview transcript clearly indicates, she did not name Weinstein as her attacker on camera in the February 2017 interview or any time after that,” an NBC spokesperson said to Variety in a statement.” The first time Farrow submitted a draft script on the Weinstein story was five months later, on July 23, 2017. If Farrow had McGowan naming Weinstein on the record but off-camera before that date, and wanted to proceed with airing a story, he did not submit one to his editors. The July 23draft script, for the first time, included a reference to McGowan naming Weinstein off camera ‘in subsequent conversations.’ (It also included several other assertions that quickly did not hold up to scrutiny, including some that were soon found to be contradicted by Farrow’s own interview transcripts,as described in the accompanying document.) Within days of that July 23 draft script being submitted, while Farrow attempted to get McGowan to name Weinstein on camera, she cancelled a follow up interview and her attorney sent NBC a cease and desist letter revoking all permission to use any material related to her.”

This past Friday, the New York Times and the Daily Beast both broke stories that NBC News had blocked Farrow’s Weinstein reporting with Farrow’s producer, Rich McHugh, blasting the organization, saying: “Is there anyone in the journalistic community who actually believes NBC didn’t breach its journalistic duty to continue reporting this story?  Something else must have been going on.”

In response to McHugh’s claims, NBC News stated that any assertion that the organization tried to kill the story was an “outright lie.”

NBC News also stated that while Farrow believed his reporting was ready for air, “NBC disagreed because, unfortunately, he did not yet have a single victim of — or witness to — misconduct by Weinstein who was willing to be identified.”

Aside from McGowan confirming to “Megyn Kelly Today” that she had gone on the record, another one of Weinstein’s victims, Emily Nestor, said today that she had filmed an interview in silhouette and had tentatively offered to attach her name to the interview, but NBC was “not interested in this interview.”

An NBC News spokesperson tells Variety: “NBC News based its judgments on the draft scripts Farrow presented to editors in July and August of 2017 and all the raw notes and information he shared with his colleagues, including, significantly, the editorial review team. With regard to Emily Nestor’s statement, she is the anonymous victim of verbal sexual harassment’ referred to in the NBC News document and she was contacted during the editorial review process in mid-August by an investigative producer with two decades of experience.  That producer took contemporaneous notes of their conversation and at no time then or since did Nestor tell her or NBC News she was willing to be named. NBC News of course respected and honored that decision.”

Nestor’s statement and Kelly’s broadcast come after NBC News chairman Andy Lack released a lengthy memo on Sunday, saying that Farrow’s story was not ready for air.

On Tuesday, in response to Variety‘s request for comment, an NBC News spokesperson stated: “Contrary to Farrow’s claims, his story was never cleared or approved for air by NBC News Legal or Standards. As is common practice, NBC lawyers met with him on several occasions to offer legal advice in connection with his reporting. But at no time did they render a judgment on the draft script’s readiness for air. While he was told by his editors that several elements of the draft script were technically ‘reportable,’ he was consistently advised that — even taken together — they were not yet sufficient to air a story alleging serial sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein without at least one victim or witness on the record. Precisely because the script was never ready for air, no one in the NBC News Standards department ever reviewed it.”

More TV

  • THE INBETWEEN -- "Pilot" Episode 101

    TV Review: NBC's 'The InBetween'

    There’s something to be said for a TV show that knows exactly what its lane is and fulfills its duties enough to hold together. NBC’s “The InBetween,” Moira Kirland’s new procedural billed as a “paranormal drama,” is a fan of just about every procedural cliche in the book, right down to the cheesy music following [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Talent Agents Blast Verve Agreement With Writers Guild

    The lead negotiator for Hollywood’s talent agencies has again blasted the Writers Guild and its recent agreement with the Verve agency — and cautioned other agencies against following suit. Verve defected from the major agencies on May 16 when it became the first sizable Hollywood talent agency to sign the WGA’s Code of Conduct. That [...]

  • Stephen Colbert on Les Moonves allegations

    'Late Show With Stephen Colbert' Narrowly Tops Late-Night Ratings for 2018-2019 Season

    “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” is officially number one. For the first time since he took over from David Letterman in 2015, Colbert and his CBS late-night show topped NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in the adults 18-49 demographic. Colbert is averaging a 0.52 rating in the key demo to Fallon’s 0.51, [...]

  • "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" on NICKELODEON.

    Nickelodeon Shares Peek at 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Live-Action/Animated Special

    Nickelodeon has released first-look photos from its one-hour “SpongeBob SquarePants” 20th anniversary special, “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout,” set to premiere Friday, July 12, at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon. The special mixes live-action and animation, allowing the core voice cast of Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick Star), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Carolyn [...]

  • billions Showtime

    It's About Time for the Emmys to Expand the Number of Nominees in Top Categories

    You’ll have to excuse the Television Academy if its members feel a little smug when it comes to their film counterparts. As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences keeps wading into controversy, the TV folks in North Hollywood comparatively look like they have their act together.  In particular, the Emmys were already recognizing [...]

  • Taylor Swift The Voice

    Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie Make 'Voice' Finale All About 'Me!' (Watch)

    A new winner was crowned on “The Voice” Tuesday night. But did that champion emerge from a dark chrysalis as the world’s largest and most glittery butterfly? Sorry, Madelyn Jarmon — that is a parking spot that is still very much reserved for overall life champion Taylor Swift, who took to the NBC telecast to [...]

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content